Former PICA intern Rachel Peddersen left us last year for the big city, moving to New York to pursue an MFA in Visual Arts Administration from NYU. The world better watch out, because soon she’ll be out, and she’ll be more qualified to run PICA than we are. We asked her to fill us in on what she’s been up to in her program, her work, and her view into the NYC art world. Here’s her dispatch.

Bedside reading with bedbug.

This time last year I was packing up my things to move across the country. Six long years of waiting tables and assisting artists led me to think it was time to grow up, take out my septum ring, and learn the ropes of administration. Art Administration. It still sounds
vulgar, but I’m getting used to it. Since moving to the lower east part of Manhattan I’ve learned a ton about our country’s history, American contemporary art history, and of course my artist self. In an attempt to boil down my experience thus far, I think I’ll wax on the highlights of the past (almost) year.

I will be thirty in November and even though I still look sixteen, it’s not helping assuage the harsh reality that I am interning with people younger than myself. (Taking out the nose ring and wearing pencil skirts isn’t helping, either). Intern Nation is for real. I still love you though PICA, and I wouldn’t be here without you, it’s true! (Ed. note: It is true. And we were awesome to intern for.) In the Fall, I helped the Foundation for Contemporary Art (FCA) raise money to help artists through their amazing grant program. Yes, I will brag that I met Jasper Johns, the founder of FCA and many other amazing well known artists. That is why I am paying the mad scrilla to live here, so I can name drop and be narcissistic like all the other transplants that are here.

I was hired to work as a graduate assistant for an archive where David Wojnarowicz’s collection is tucked away in folders and boxes, but used regularly by hungry curators and researchers. There are many other things in the archive to brag about that I get to handle and ogle. Mostly though, I am grateful to be working with amazing archivists that value every piece of paper these people have touched.

I have to admit that it took moving to New York to say this, but I finally fell in love with video art. It happened fast and furiously. Greater New York 2010, Modern Women: Single Channel, and Laurel Nakadate blew me away.

The war with the government funding for the arts is not over. There’s too much to say here, but a revolution is forthcoming. Cuomo did a good job this weekend with gay marriage, but now its time for art and the artists…

with love,
rachel p.